Happy 30th anniversary, Apple II
Thirty years ago today, the first Apple II went on sale at the West Coast Computer Faire.
It included color, sound, paddles for Pong and Breakout, a 6502 microprocessor running at 1 MHz, 4 KB of RAM, an audio cassette interface for loading programs and storing data, the Integer BASIC programming language built into the ROMs, a video controller that displayed 24 lines by 40 columns of upper-case-only text on the screen, with NTSC composite video output suitable for display on a monitor or on a TV set. The original retail price of the computer was US$1298 with 4 KB of RAM and US$2638 if you went for the maximum whopping 48 KB of RAM.
Not gigabytes, not even megabytes. 48 kilobytes.
By today’s standards, that’s what’s included in a cereal box giveaway. The computer I’m typing this on has a microprocessor that’s over two thousand times faster, with over forty-three thousand times more RAM. And it’s not even top of the line anymore, hasn’t been for almost a year.